Dinosaur sculptures get help from Heritage Lottery Fund

Restoration project: the National Lottery Heritage Fund money will be used to find ways of preserving the Grade I-listed Crystal Palace dinosaurs

Crystal Palace Park has received £304,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund to help with the improvements and restoration of its “dinosaur island”.

The Lottery grant is part of a wider £5million regeneration project being undertaken in the park by the Crystal Palace Park Trust, which is expected to take over the management of the park from Bromley Council this year.

The collection of concrete-constructed large dinosaur sculptures which were first installed as a visitor attraction when the original Crystal Palace was moved to south London in the 1850s.

The Crystal Palace grant is one of more than £24million in National Lottery funding announced this week, part of a £3.6billion, 10-year investment strategy.

The money will be used for restoration work to the park’s tidal lakes, a new dinosaur-themed playground and an information centre.

The Grade I-listed dinosaur sculptures and surrounding land is classed as the highest priority on Historic England’s heritage at-risk register due to their poor condition and “immediate risk of further rapid deterioration”.

Damage: the Megalosaurus has needed some serious repair work in recent times

Assistant director of regeneration at Bromley Council, Lydia Lee, said the dinosaurs, which have stood there for nearly 170 years, “were never really designed to last this long”.

“Over time they have struggled being in the elements, they contract and expand with frost and drought and it’s the weather effectively that has the biggest impact on them,” she said.

Eilish McGuinness, chief executive of the National Lottery Heritage Fund, said: “We’re delighted that thanks to players of the National Lottery, we can save much-loved heritage like Crystal Palace Park all over the UK, and create benefits for people, places and our natural environment.

“Our funding will help ensure that it continues to do just that for generations to come.”

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